19 May 2005

NGO says NZ aid budget allocation falls well short of UN obligations

7:59 pm on 19 May 2005

The New Zealand minister in charge of overseas aid says she is delighted with the money allocated to aid in the budget but the Aid community is not so happy.

Marian Hobbs says overseas aid is expanding by 21 percent, the largest increase in recent decades.

The Council for International Development says it's a promising start but falls well short of meeting New Zealand's United Nations obligations.

However Ms Hobbs says the additional funding means aid programmes in the Pacific can be significantly expanded.

"There will be 30-million in the next three years particularly aimed at Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomons and Fiji. Vanuatu it is an education programme, rather like the Solomons. Papua New Guinea, it's doing a sector-wide approach programme in community health and Fiji, it's the beginning of the work on those outlying areas where people have shifted in outside the city."

Marian Hobbs says there will also be millions more for cyclone devastated Niue and Tokelau over the next three years.